ROWLEDGE Cricket Club’s season got off to a fine start with a comprehensive win at home against Ottershaw in the first round of the Village Cup.
Despite losing the toss, captain Jake Wish was more than happy to have been asked to bat first on a hard and even looking wicket. Rowledge’s openers, Ricky Yates and Max Witney, set about the task of building the total with great application and maturity.
Initially the pair were watchful against some accurate bowling, though remained assertive and effective in latching on to anything off line.
As the Ottershaw bowlers began to err in their accuracy, the opening pair unleashed a brutal onslaught of boundary hitting. Yates was particularly effective at punishing anything short or wide with his trademark mix of cuts and pulls, while Witney’s innings included some very dominant drives down the ground.
The pair batted very sensibly and brought up three figures in quick succession of one another. Both eventually departed for impressive centuries, and their opening stand of 231 had put Rowledge in firm control of the game.
This brought together the youthful pair of Ryan Littlewood and Ollie Ryman, who combined for an exciting partnership which included some lusty boundaries and sprightly running between the wickets, which exhausted the Ottershaw fielders ragged and ensured Rowledge finished with an impressive total of 343 for three from their 40 overs.
In response, the Ottershaw batters looked to be positive in chasing down the total, and were dismissed anything over pitched in the early stages.
Richard Forbes quickly settled in to his nagging line and length and got his due reward with three wickets, including the aggressive opener, Birdi.
Ollie Baker delivered an excellent spell, bowling with immaculate rhythm and consistency to string together four maidens from his five overs.
Although Fernando stuck around for Ottershaw with a valiant half-century, he ran out of partners as Ryman and Littlewood took the final few wickets and capped off a professional performance.
Rowledge host East Horsley in the next round of the Village Cup on Sunday, May 8.